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    "Far and away the most impressive on his feet; there is no one else in this market who is more skilful an advocate"

    Chambers and Partners 2017, Gerald Gouriet QC

Gerald Gouriet QC

Gerald Gouriet QC is one of the leading licensing practitioners in the UK. He is General Editor of 'Paterson’s Licensing Acts' (2017), and also 'Smith & Monkcom: The Law of Gambling' (2017).  He advises and appears for applicants and objectors, resident's associations, local authorities and police.

Recent commercial clients include Fabric Nightclub; the AMLR; 'Public'; 'Amika'; a new nightclub in Berkeley Square (in construction); Paddy Power; Novomatic (gaming machines); London Taxi Drivers Association (LDTA); Delta Taxis; and the Noble Organisation (bingo clubs and casinos). Other clients for whom Gerald has acted: The BBC; The Royal Opera House; The Albert Hall; Novus Leisure; John Lewis; Waitrose; The Cooperative Group; Somerfield; Punch Taverns; Mitchells & Butlers; The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA); Star Cars (Birmingham); Rossendale Taxi association; and the London restaurants 'Steak & Co' and 'Chutney Mary's' (successful appeals against refusals to licence small ancillary bars).

Local authority clients in the past year have included Westminster, Islington, Manchester and Coventry City Councils, and the London Boroughs of Richmond, Greenwich, and Southwark.

Gerald has appeared for residents and residents' associations in Westminster, Lambeth, Newcastle and York: (objections to grants, appeals against grants and a successful review of a large public house brought by local people on the ground of noise-nuisance).

In the wake of the Gambling Act 2005 Gerald successfully obtained the last of the Gaming Act 1968 casino licences: the Hippodrome Casino (Leicester Square); the Palace Casino (Great Yarmouth); Casino Red (Huddersfield); Leo Casino (Liverpool); Thistle Casino (Middlesbrough); and the Broadway Casino (Birmingham). He has also acted for Caesar's Palace (Las Vegas); Ladbrokes; Corals; William Hill; The Tote; BetFred; Stanley's; Jennings; and Trafalgar Leisure (Newcastle).

Gerald's personal website can be viewed here.

  • "He's very polished and very smooth. An extremely bright man, he's engaging and very well liked."  Chambers and Partners 2018

  • "He can be utterly devastating in getting to the heart of the case and turning it in his client's favour." Chambers and Partners 2018

Summaries of Recent Cases

St. George Wharf Residents' Association v Four Degree Management Limited

Appeared for the SGWRA in an objection to a new Oyster Restaurant/Bar in St. George Wharf, Vauxhall.  The residents were rightly concerned as to the true extent of this proposal, which was presented as a straightforward restaurant application, but amounted to a great deal more 'beneath the surface'.  The application was refused.


Fabric Nightclub

1. Successfully challenged review of licence of Fabric Nightclub. Appeal allowed on all grounds (November 2015)
2. Adivsed as to the conduct of Fabric's response to the review brought by the police (August 2016)
View news item here.


Rossendale Taxi Association

Acting for the Rossendale Taxi Assoiation, who have been granted permission to judicially review the Council's Taxi Licensing Policy. The issue is whether mandatory CCTV and tinted window conditions are evidence-based.  The hearing is scheduled for the Autumn.


London Taxi Drivers' Association

Acting for the LTDA who have objected to the renewal of Uber's London Licence.  As a result of the LTDA's objection, Transport for London have only granted a temporary renewal of 4 months (instead of the usual 5 years), while the issues raised in the LTDA objection are investigated.


London Edition

Resisting a review of the premises licence of this major London hotel.  This was heavily contested by local residents.


Star Cars v Birmingham City Council

Appearing for Star Cars in an appeal against Birmingham City Council in relation to a condition on its operator's licence which prohbited it from allowing customers to call a taxi to a pre-selected pick-point by telephone and giving the proposed destination on pick-up. Appeal was allowed and the condition was struck-out on grounds of no evidence that Star Cars proposed operation would pose risk to pubic safety.


Paddy Power

Regularly appears for Paddy Power in relation to premises licences.  Hearings are heavily contested due to the increasing concern about the proliferation and clustering of betting shops and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOTBs).

In July 2017, Paddy Power were granted a betting premises licence for 128 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 4AX where an precedented number of objections were received from local residents, as well as from each of the three Ward Councillors. The sub-committee found that many of the objections went to planning matters, and to the issue of demand (which is specifically excluded from consideration by the Gambling Act 2005). Other concerns, about children and vulnerable people, were more than adequately addressed by Paddy Power's written policies and procedures.


The Queen on the application of Sharonjeet Lalli v London Borough of Newham

The High Court accepted the Gerald Gouriet's submission on behalf of the licensing authority that a single occurrence of serious disorder is capable of establishing 'an association' for the purposes of bringing a summary review under s.53 of the Licensing Act 2003. It was not necessary for there to be a series of incidents. This decision has major implications for police and licensing authorities.

Gerald recently appeared for Manchester City Council in the High Court on a case on the same point.


Rea v Newcastle City Council

Appeared for London Borough of Newham council on a judicial review by Lalli of interim steps taken by the council on a summary review of Lalli's premises licence.  At issue was the meaning of 'associated with serious crime and /or disorder". The claimant argued that a single incident could not anount to an "association".  The High court agreed with the council's submission that, as a matter of English as well as the correct interpretation of the Licensing Act, there could be an assocation arising from a single incident. 
Gerald recently appeared for Manchester City Council in the High Court on a case on the same point.


Two separate appeals agains the grant of premises licences for Brewdog  and The Alchemist

Appeared for local residents in two separate appeals against the grant of premises licences, one in York and one in Newcastle. Gerald was subsequenly invited to give evidence before the House of Lords Select Committee at which the Committee was told of serious concerns about "behind closed doors" meetings between applicants and responsible authorities held in the absence of objecting residents.


Blackpool EMRO (Early Morning Restriction Order)

Successfully representing the ALMR (Association of Multiple Licenced Retailers) at a four day hearing. The Council voted unanimously that an EMRO sought by the police, was not a proportionate response to the various problems of crime and disorder.
View news item here.


Yellowguage LLP (Trading as Steak & Co) v Westminster city Council

This was a successful appeal against the blanket application by Westminster of their 'cumulative impact policy'. The Court found that Westminster had fallen short of the standards to be expected of a responsible licensing authority and ordered that they pay the appellant £17,000 in costs.


The Queen on the application of Sarai v London Borough of Hillingdon

The High Court accepted Gerald Gouriet's submissions on behalf of the police, and refused to give permission for a judicial review of the authority's ruling that 'interim steps' imposed on a summary review continue in force pending an appeal to the magistrates' court. 


Appeals by Paddy Power against refusals to grant betting premises licences: Newham, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Westminster

Gerald Gouriet has successfully appeared for Paddy Power in a number of recent appeals against refusals to grant betting premises licences, in which the assertion that betting premises cause an increase in crime and disorder was unsupported by evidence. The licensing authority for Newham was ordered by the District Judge to pay substantial costs.


Trafalgar Leisure Limited v Gambling Commission An important challenge by an operator to the Gambling Commission's 'primary gambling activity' condition. At a Regulatory Panel Hearing on 15 November 2013 the Commission ruled that the 'primary gambling activity' condition it places on all betting operating licences disallows betting premises to make FOBTs available for use by the public if the betting facilities at the premises are offered only by way of machines. The operator (represented by Gerald Gouriet) appealed. The First Tier Tribunal (Judge NJ Warren) accepted the operator's submissions and allowed the appeal. The judge held that the operator was not in breach of the primary gambling activity condition by offering FOBTs to the public in a betting shop in which betting was only available on betting terminals.


The Queen (on the application of Alistair Lockwood Thompson) v Oxford City Council The High Court stayed a decision of Oxford City Council by which they had refused to renew the SEV licence for a Lap Dancing Club when there had been no material changes from the circumstances obtaining when they first granted the licence a year previously. The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's ruling on a discreet but important point, and held that a licensing committee that wishes to take a different decision from that taken by a differently constituted licensing committee the previous year must give reasons for departing from the previous decision.


The Queen (on the application of Estates & Agency Holdings limited) v Westminster Magistrates' Court The Queen (on the application of Estates & Agency Holdings limited) v Westminster Magistrates' Court A district judge had refused to State a Case as required by law. On an application opposed by Westminster City Council Gerald Gouriet successfully persuaded Mrs. Justice Lange to remit the matter back to the judge with substantial directions as to how the Case should be redrafted. The issue was a reputational one, and the re-drafted case exposed the lack of evidence to support the district judge's findings.


St. George Wharf Residents Association v Young & Co., plc

Gerald Gouriet appeared for a local residents' association who brought successful reviews of the premises licences for two riverside pubs at Vauxhall, on the grounds of noise-nuisance and disorder. Gouriet drafted conditions that demanded of the licensees that they bring into effect, and abide by, a comprehensive regime for the control of the outside areas of the pubs. After initial resistance the conditions were eventually accepted by the licensees and imposed by the licensing authority - who praised the application and the pre-hearing partnership discussions as a model of how review proceedings should be conducted.

Qualifications & Appointments

  • Bachelor of Music (Royal College of Music)
  • Called to the Bar: 1974
  • Queen's Counsel: 2006
  • Appointed a General Editor of Paterson's Licensing Acts: 2015


  • General Editor - Paterson's Licensing Acts
  • General Editor - Smith & Monkcom: the Law of Gambling